By Alex Stevens
Stoke chairman Peter Coates has blasted some of his own clubs fans for their distasteful chants about Aaron Ramsey.
Ramsey had his leg broken by a Ryan Shawcross tackle at the Britannia stadium back in 2010, sparking animosity between the two sets of supporters, and the midfielder has been jeered on his return to the ground ever since.
During Sunday’s goalless draw, a section of home fans chanted “Aaron Ramsey, he walks with a limp”, angering Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Coates claimed he did not hear the chant himself, but insisted that he certainly did not approve it.
‘You’re telling me something that I’m completely unaware of. I’ve no idea that chant had taken place, but we wouldn’t approve of it at all,’ Coates told the Guardian. “I don’t think it’s a minority of fans; I know it’s a minority. People chant all sorts of awful things at all sorts of grounds, which I dislike. But do I approve of that sort of chanting? Of course I don’t.
“You go around football grounds and hear some chanting I don’t like. I wish they didn’t do it but how do you control these things? You can’t.”
Speaking at his post-match press conference on Sunday, Wenger said he believed that the fans involved would not be proud of themselves once they left the stadium.
Why is Aaron Ramsey getting booed??? Do the Stoke fans think he was faking that broken leg? I’m confused!!
— Matt Le Tissier (@mattletiss7) January 17, 2016
I see after 6 years Stoke fans are booing Ramsey for getting his leg broken!?
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) January 17, 2016
“I shut my ears and think that’s the best way to deal with it,” said the Arsenal boss. “I don’t know what to do about it — I don’t know generally what you should do.
“When people get together they sometimes forget their individual responsibility. Maybe when you go home and watch it on television you are less proud.”
It was a message echoed by Coates, who agreed that ignoring the chants was the best option, and said he would not be issuing a message to supporters to prevent similar chants next time the teams meet.
“The best thing is to shut your ears in a way, like he [Wenger] said: switch off and ignore it as best you can.
“I think the sooner we forget about these things the better, [otherwise] I think all you do is almost keep it going. But this is not something we would want our supporters to be doing.”